Pakistan made an emphatic return to international action on Wednesday when the side defeated West Indies by five wickets in the first of three ODIs in Multan. Chasing a 306-run target, Pakistan rode on yet another century from their skipper Babar Azam (103), while Imam-ul-Haq (65), Mohammad Rizwan (59), and Khushdil Shah (41*) all stepped up for the side in the run-chase. Earlier, Shai Hope had also scored a century (127) as West Indies scored 305/8 in fifty overs.
Also read: Babar Azam breaks Virat Kohli’s incredible world record with a century against WI; becomes 1st batter to reach huge feat
West Indies had made a strong start to their innings despite losing an early wicket of Kyle Mayers after opting to bat in Multan. Hope and Shamarh Brooks (70) forged a 154-run stand for the second wicket, before Shadab Khan’s incredible one-handed stunner Brooks’ innings ended early. The Pakistan bowler took a magnificent catch at short third-man as Brooks’ brought out a slog-sweep, but failed to time the ball to perfection.
Watch the brilliant catch from Shadab here:
The dismissal eventually proved to be the gamechanger, as West Indies failed to build upon the momentum afterward. Nicholas Pooran (21) and Brandon King (4) — the no.4 and 5 respectively — were cheaply dismissed before Hope departed in the 44th over of the innings. Rovman Powell (32) and Romario Shepherd (25) did provide the Windies with a decent finish, but the side was left lamenting over the middle-order collapse as Pakistan chased down the target with four balls remaining.
In the run-chase, Babar Azam slammed a third-successive century in ODIs, becoming the first player in the history of the format to achieve the feat twice. He had earlier scored three tons on the trot in 2016 — all against West Indies in the UAE.
Babar also became the fastest captain to score 1000 runs in ODIs, going past Virat Kohli for the feat. Babar reached the mark in his 13th innings in the format; Kohli had earlier held the record with 17 innings.
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